Cover

"Day of losers and big losers" is how the Belfast-based Irish News headlines today's UK emergency budget. The "toughest budget in a generation," is expected to see VAT rise to 20%, on such products as alcohol and petrol as well as benefit cuts and public pay hits. Opinion is split over the budget which the Chancellor, George Osborne, keen to distance himself from brutal Tory budgets of the 1980's, claims is "tough but fair," as the richest 10% will be hit the hardest whereas 850,000 of the lowest paid will be exempt from income tax altogether.